Technology News

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What's The Damage When An Ad Is Copied?

Lots of folks are buzzing over the fact that the latest iPod commercial from Apple starring Eminem looks an awful lot like a commercial for boots from a few years ago. The still shots from each ad certainly do show a striking resemblance. However, while the ads may be similar, is there really grounds for any kind of lawsuit? From the article it sounds like some of the parties are angry about it, but the only discussion of suing is hinted at in the last line of the article where an exec at the company behind the first ad says that they're going to "take all the steps... to protect our rights." Just what rights are those? Is there really any confusion caused by the ads? Are people going to start thinking that Apple is endorsing the boots, or the boot company is endorsing Apple? If anything, Apple has a much stronger brand name than the boot company -- so this whole thing is probably giving the boot company a lot more publicity than any "harm" to their brand. It seems like yet another case where someone feels they need to protect their "intellectual property" because they can, rather than because it makes good business sense. Unless, of course, the company is counting on the fact that by stirring up the pot with lawsuit threats they're increasing the publicity, without having to actually having to file any lawsuit. Either way, if a lawsuit is filed, it may be quite difficult for the boot company to show any kind of damages. As a random aside, last we heard, Eminem was suing Apple over their use of one of his songs in a commercial. Apparently that situation was resolved.

[via TechDirt]


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